Meet the Instructors

Margaret S. Fortier, CG: Catholic Records
Margaret is an experienced researcher, writer and lecturer and is the incoming chair of BCG’s Webinar Committee and is a facilitator for the Certification Discussion Group (CDG). For ten years she served as a catechist in her local parish and worked on staff at family faith formation at a large Catholic parish. She volunteered as an indexer for French Catholic records for American Ancestors as part of their effort to index and digitize the records of the Archdiocese of Boston. She has lectured at the national and regional conferences, FamilyTree Webinars, seminars and local libraries an genealogical societies.

Lisa S. Gorrell, CG: Foundations I: Focus on Using Records
Lisa is a co-founder of Applied Genealogy Institute and specializes in the southern states and Texas; the western states of California, Montana, and Oregon; and 18th & 19th century German and Swedish research. She is the former recording secretary for California Genealogical Society & Library, and past president for Contra Costa County Genealogical Society. She has a regular column in CGS’s California Nugget, has written for Der Blumenbaum, and writes two family blogs. She lectures locally and teaches all levels of genealogy research at the local adult school. She is currently a board member and volunteer at Contra Costa County Historical Society History Center in Martinez.

Leah Larkin, Ph.D.: Applied Genetic Genealogy
Leah earned her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she used DNA to study species relationships. She previously worked in both academia and scientific publishing and now applies those research skills to solving genealogical questions using DNA. She blogs at and is the co-creator of the revolutionary What Are the Odds? tool at DNA Painter. She has spoken at RootsTech, SCGS Jamboree, i4GG, and regional societies. In addition to taking private clients, she is currently working on strategies and tools for dealing with endogamy. 

Diane L. Richard: Getting Lost in Ledgers
Diane is the Owner/President of Mosaic Research and Project Management and has been doing genealogy since 1987. Since 2004, her focus turned professional, specializing in the records of North Carolina and the Southern sates. She regularly contributes to Internet Genealogy and has authored over 500+ articles. She has authored one book and has two more publications planned, one on ledgers! Since 2016, she has been the editor of the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal.

Jill Morelli, CG: Advanced Swedish Research
Jill is a founder of Applied Genealogy Institute and the Certification Discussion Group, both online educational opportunities for the intermediate to advanced genealogist. She specializes in Scandinavian research and the US Midwest and has authored many articles for Swedish American Genealogist, National Genealogical Society Quarterly and other national and regional genealogical journals. While she no longer takes clients, she writes and lectures nationally and is noted for advancing the skill levels of all genealogists, wherever their starting point.